Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When Shaming Works

The next time anyone tries to tell you that shaming is always bad, you should evoke with the name of Marte Deborah Dalelv.

When the 24-year-old Norwegian woman was raped in Dubai, she reported the crime to the police. They responded to the complaint by charging her with having sex outside of marriage. Eventually they sentenced her to sixteen months in prison.

This provoked a worldwide outcry and considerable embarrassment for Dubai. Thus, the local authorities decided that they needed to save face. They pardoned Marte Deborah Dalelv. She is free to leave the country.

Why did the authorities change their mind?

They want Dubai to become a great cosmopolitan metropolis. They want it to be a place people want to come to in order to do business. To fulfill that vision it will have to discard many aspects of its medieval legal system.

Score one for shaming.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I am amazed and surprised they let her go. Bad publicity, really bad publicity, got their attention.